Author Topic: question about the bonding with the water heater  (Read 2440 times)

Offline hmmbm

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question about the bonding with the water heater
« on: February 02, 2016, 09:31:20 AM »
I installed a water heater and furnace with a new gas line yesterday. I used pex pipe connect the water heater to the cold water copper pipe, i did the bonding from the pex cold water pipe upstream to my gas pipe nearby water heater. The guy who open the gas meter give me a red tap 4.7.3 and he wrote bond wire must be connected to electrical panel. Now I am just wondering if the code have been changed.

Offline chewy

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2016, 10:22:12 AM »
If this system was on a well then yes it would have to go to the panel. If it is city water then bonding should go on copper before the pex on cold side of tank.

Offline Admin

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 10:33:32 AM »
PEX is plastic.  You can only bond to copper.  This has always been the case.

Offline hmmbm

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 12:01:14 PM »
Yes, it a city water, and I hand bond on the cold water copper pipe before the pex pipe.

Offline Admin

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 12:33:28 PM »
That's the problem.  A copper water line will lead back to the water meter which is grounded, but when there's PEX it will no longer function.  A water piping system must be electrically continuous to the system grounding conductor.  See ESA Bulletin 10-14-6.

You will need to run bonding wire back to the water meter or hydro meter.  Or look for gas piping closer to either and bond there.

Offline theclick

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 09:48:29 PM »
That's the problem.  A copper water line will lead back to the water meter which is grounded, but when there's PEX it will no longer function.  A water piping system must be electrically continuous to the system grounding conductor.  See ESA Bulletin 10-14-6.

You will need to run bonding wire back to the water meter or hydro meter.  Or look for gas piping closer to either and bond there.

I just want to ask a question to clarify. Op said, he bonded upstream from the pex connection to the water tank. If he attached the bond clamp on the copper pipe (assuming there is no pex connection in between the bond clamp and the water meter ground), wouldn't that be considered a sufficient bond?

I have another related question, based on an all copper plumbing systems, no pex. 

All copper plumbing systems need to be bonded to system grounding conductor, not grounded, correct?

Shouldn't there always be a bond wire running from the copper piping system going to the panel?

Am I correct in thinking.. if there is no bond wire running from the copper plumbing system to the panel.. then attaching your gas piping bond to the copper system would not be considered a proper bond.

Offline Admin

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 07:12:42 PM »
The OP said,

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i did the bonding from the pex cold water pipe upstream to my gas pipe nearby water heater. The guy who open the gas meter give me a red tap 4.7.3 and he wrote bond wire must be connected to electrical panel.

I assumed there is about 12 inches of copper connected to the water heater and then switches to PEX coming from to the water meter.  I'm not sure if he actually installed a bonding clamp on the PEX.  If there was copper piping installed from the water meter to the water heater, and then he switched to PEX to connect the water heater, the inspector would have said to relocate the bonding clamp onto the copper, rather then back to the electrical panel.

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If he attached the bond clamp on the copper pipe (assuming there is no pex connection in between the bond clamp and the water meter ground), wouldn't that be considered a sufficient bond?

Yes.  As long as the water meter was bonded to the electrical panel.

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Am I correct in thinking.. if there is no bond wire running from the copper plumbing system to the panel.. then attaching your gas piping bond to the copper system would not be considered a proper bond.

Correct, the OESC Bulletin 10-14-6 states that the bond wire is commonly installed at the water heater, between the cold water piping and the gas pipe.  This is because in Ontario the water meters are also bonded to the electrical panel.  But with newer homes using PEX we cannot bond the gas pipe to it, because it will not conduct electricity.

This makes me wonder if a G1/G2 is even certified to install bonding wire that needs to be connected into the electrical panel.  In new construction only an electrician can install the bonding.  If a G1/G2 is replacing an appliance we have always been allowed to install the bonding wire from the copper to the gas pipe.  But what about when there's PEX and not copper?

Ontario Regulation 215/01 says a G2/G3 can,

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Install, repair, service and maintain electrical wiring from an existing branch circuit... but the person shall not run wiring back to the electrical supply panel or perform any additional wiring unless he or she is the holder of a certificate of qualification in the trade of electrician.

Is bonding considered to be wiring?  In my opinion a bonding wire would be considered a conductor.  O. Reg 215/01 doesn't say a G1/G2 can't install a bonding conductor.

The Ontario Electrical Safety Code Rule 2-005 says,

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2-005 An application for inspection not required
Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 2-004, an application for inspection is not required
(e) when repairs are performed on existing installed utilization equipment in an owner-occupied dwelling unit and the repair work
(i) is performed by one of the following, each according to his/her designation:
(D) a person authorized to do such work in accordance with Ontario Regulation 215/01 (Fuel Industry Certificates) made under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000;
(g) for the bonding of interior metal gas piping or tubing when the work is performed by a person authorized to do such work in accordance with Ontario Regulation 215/01 (Fuel Industry Certificates) made under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000.

OESC Rule 2-005 seems to imply a G1/G2 can install bonding and does not require a permit to do so. 

It should be made more clear if a G1/G2 can actually connect the bonding wire to the grounding bus bar inside the electrical panel.  I wonder if we could simply bond the gas pipe to the copper at the water meter.  Assuming it's bonded to the electrical panel it should accomplish the same thing.

Offline Sergroum

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 05:13:46 PM »
Hm. Interesting.

When an electrical panel is installed, a rod is ran into the ground some number of feet deep. The Panel is then grounded to that rod and this is what provides the grounding for the entire house and all of its appliances. I always figured that the reason why it's permissable to bond gas pipe to copper water supply pipe, is because that copper eventually goes into the ground and acts as that very same grounding rod. I guess I was thinking wrong.

Offline Admin

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 07:25:23 PM »
What you're saying makes sense to me.  What has you confused?  It's only when there's plastic pex tubing that this won't work.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 12:44:17 PM »
I always bond to the the nearest and most convenient section of cold water copper piping. I also make sure to follow through with confirming that the piping does actually go right back to copper to the ground, and as far as I can remember, there's always a bonding clamp upstream of the water meter to ensure the piping after the meter is bonded; however, I sometimes notice this wire is a very small 14 gauge piece of romex. Never had issues with this setup with any inspectors.

Does an existing copper pipe water system need to tie in with the panel, or is it fine because it's naturally grounded by the fact it enters the home with a copper pipe?

I have yet to run into any new pex homes where the copper is no longer used. But in oddball homes where plastic, sharkbites, or pex is used, or the home is on a well where I can't see if it has been bonded with the meter, and I can't bond back to where the water pipe enters, I have used the split-bolt connectors on to the existing 6 gauge or larger ground wire that I usually always see exiting the main panel at some point right next to it. This way I don't have to deal with an B.S. about entering the panel.

I have heard of many installs with propane where it's next to impossible to bond to a panel, or plumbing and you  then need to install a grounding rod. But I wonder if that's allowed since it's not bonded with the plumbing and panel of the house? Or does this still count as the same because you're electrically continuous with the earth because both rods are obviously in the ground?

Offline Admin

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2016, 02:15:49 PM »
It makes me wonder if the water piping is bonded to the electrical panel ground or is the electrical panel bonded to the water piping ground.  I know you will usually see a bond jumper on both sides of the water meter because of dialectric unions that don't conduct electricity.

From the 2015 OESC,

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10-406 Non-electrical equipment (see Appendix B)
(1) The following metal parts of non-electrical equipment shall be bonded to ground:
(2) Where a metal water piping system is installed in a building supplied with electric power and is not used as a grounding electrode as permitted by Rule 10-700,
(a) the metal water piping system shall be bonded to the system grounding conductor by means of a conductor made of material permitted by Rule 10-802 for grounding conductors and shall be sized not smaller than
(i) No. 6 AWG if of copper; or
(ii) No. 4 AWG if of aluminum; and
(b) the bonding conductor shall be attached to the metal water piping system
(i) at a location as near to the consumer’s electrical service entrance as practicable;
(4) All interior metal gas piping that may become energized shall be made electrically continuous and shall be bonded in accordance with the requirements of Subrule (2).

Offline jbag56

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 09:12:12 AM »
I have similar situation. House is on the well (abs - plastic piping). The only place to bond the gas line is electric panel but legally G2 can not open it. House is older, there is copper piping but I can not confirm that is properly bonded, so it should go to the panel. Any suggestion what to do?

Offline rmuntz

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Re: question about the bonding with the water heater
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 06:11:17 PM »
Here's some good info on the subject, (it's from the US but still good info),

http://thecuttingedgellc.com/downloads/Bonding_CSST.pdf.

Remember, bonding and grounding are 2 different things.